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Top new questions this week:

Is the Coleco computer from The Simpsons based on a real computer?

In the episode Lisa Gets an "A" of The Simpsons, there is a fictional computer called Coleco: Is that computer based on a real one or are there any records of computers resembling that?

identify-this-computer coleco  
asked by guest 17 votes
answered by Raffzahn 23 votes

Is this an Amiga? If so, which model?

In the 1998 Swedish comedy musical "Åke från Åstol", there's a moment toward the end when a man is pushing around some sort of Amiga-looking computer with a monitor and mouse on a ...

commodore identify-this-computer  
asked by Daeron Guiffre 8 votes
answered by Raffzahn 28 votes

How did Sony, Panasonic and Mitsumi CD-ROM drives differ from the later ATAPI standard?

In the early days of computer CD-ROM drives, aside from SCSI interfaces, there were a number of proprietary interfaces developed by individual manufacturers. This was exemplified by PC sound cards ...

cd-rom atapi soundblaster  
asked by Kaz 8 votes
answered by Stephen Kitt 7 votes

How can I understand numerical precision of values in Microsoft BASIC (on the Dragon 32)?

I implemented a differential equation solver on my Dragon 32 (which uses Microsoft Extended Color BASIC) but the results I get quickly diverge from those I expect, which are the same as those I get ...

floating-point microsoft-basic dragon-32  
asked by Graham Lee 6 votes
answered by Raffzahn 7 votes

Why are the CBM control codes for color setting so spread out?

The control codes (my C64 handbook actually calls them ASCII codes) for color changing on the Commodore 64 are as follows: Color Control Code Color number BLACK $90 0 ...

commodore-64 graphics commodore  
asked by Peter B. 5 votes
answered by Raffzahn 3 votes

Why do keyboards with a NumPad repeat the numbers?

This question is related to this one. I realise not all keyboards have the NumPad, but why do those who do have a NumPad have two sets of keys for numbers ( the numbers above the letters and below the ...

asked by Neil Meyer 4 votes
answered by Stephen Kitt 22 votes

What floppy disk format and layout and what disk image format are used for the Coleco Adam?

I just found out that emulators for the Coleco Adam use a disk image file format with the DSK file extension. This is a very very overused extension on many different disk formats. Though a few DSK ...

floppy-disk file-format disk-image coleco  
asked by hippietrail 4 votes
answered by Tommy 6 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

What is this programming language having PROC, DCL, LABEL keywords?

A 1980 paper called "Register Allocation via Coloring" contains something that looks like source code: P: PROC(MODE); DCL MODE BIT(1), (A1,A2,A3,A4,A5,A6,A7,A8,A9,A10, ...

programming identify-this-software  
asked by Papaya-Automaton 27 votes
answered by another-dave 58 votes

How exactly did Windows become the OS of the home PC?

As far as I understand it, the whole personal computing revolution that Microsoft Windows did was not entirely by its own design. Is it true that the Windows OS at its core was originally designed to ...

history operating-system windows  
asked by Neil Meyer 31 votes
answered by Stephen Kitt 72 votes

On what computer did "JUMP" mean "don't jump?"

This question triggered a brain cell. I remember a computer architecture, possibly one that was known for its beautifully symmetric instruction set, with an assortment of distinct mnemonics for ...

history architecture  
asked by Solomon Slow 33 votes
answered by RETRAC 44 votes

Why did C have the return type before functions?

In general, there are two types of syntax of defining functions - Something like C, C++, C#, or Java (int functionName(char arg)) vs the ML (and others) tradition of defining the return type after the ...

history c  
asked by Unix 46 votes
answered by Stephen Kitt 68 votes

Why was the return key symbol ⏎ drawn differently from the motion of a CR-LF?

In the operating system (DOS) of IBM PCs, newlines were represented by a carriage return (CR) character, followed by a line feed (LF) character. The motion of a printer or teletype receiving such a ...

ibm-pc keyboards  
asked by DrSheldon 55 votes
answered by Raffzahn 38 votes

Did Apple not originally allow anyone to develop software for the Macintosh?

This probably nearly belongs on Skeptics.SE but here goes. Within the last few years I've become an Apple convert for the most part, which occasionally brings me into (usually) good natured conflict ...

software apple-macintosh software-development  
asked by Tom Kidd 66 votes
answered by Brian H 89 votes

Back in the late 1980s, how was commercial software for 8-bit home computers developed?

When hobbyists wanted to write software for e.g. the Commodore 64, they either used the built-in BASIC interpreter (with all its limitations) or some native tools, like compilers for other languages ...

history software-development 8-bit-microcomputers  
asked by Felix Palmen 75 votes
answered by John Dallman 84 votes
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